If you missed part 1 of this series, it would be helpful to you, to go back and read it, as it sets the stage for the upcoming blogs. These few lessons, unlike most of my writings, are sequential.
We found listed in James chapter 3 verses 13-18… two very different kinds of wisdom:
13 who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
WISDOM from above.
Wisdom from below.
In the last blog, we realized together… that as Blood washed children of the Heavenly KING…we have the choice as to which type of wisdom we will employ in our everyday happenings.
Let’s now explore the wisdom from below according to James, from the WORD of GOD.
1. Q. What does the wisdom from below looks like? (vs 14)…
A. Jealousy and selfish ambition.
2. Q. What does jealousy look like?
A. Envy, bitterness, anger, competitiveness, partiality and the like.
3. Q. What does selfish ambition look like?
A. Selfishness, pride, striving, manipulating, justifying, excuse making, defensiveness and such.
4. Q. Who functions in wisdom from below? (vs 15)…
A. The earth (world), our natural selves (sin nature) and demons.
5. Q. Who is the earth (world)?
A. The lost souls of men who have not accepted JESUS CHRIST as SAVIOR. They have no choice but to walk in their own worldly wisdom, as they do not know any other. They have no access to heavenly thinking. Because heavenly thinking is founded in CHRIST alone. (1 Corinthians 1:24… CHRIST THE POWER OF GOD AND THE WISDOM OF GOD.)
6. Q. What is our natural selves? ( sin nature)
A. That’s us. The you and me of today. Always wanting what we want when we want it. Always demanding our rights and protecting our stuff and making sure no one gets in the way of our goals, dreams and expectations. That’s who we are, as we live in this world…fighting the daily fight with our flesh….as our redeemed spirit wars against our natural inclinations…our natural wisdom is what pours out of us when our cup is tipped and we don’t like it. It’s our fleshes tendencies and the way us folks naturally lean without any thought. It’s sin. Even as Christians…we fight our sin nature daily. (Romans 7:24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?)
7. Q. Who are the demons?
A. They are the fallen angels, led by their commander-in-chief Satan. They are armed with a hatred and passion to destroy GOD’s greatest creation…HIS children. The demonic powers come in various forms and ranks ( Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.)…they are real spirits that mean real business…and their wisdom is from below…they push and they shove. They fight and they snarl. They argue among themselves and complain about each other… even when on assignment from their master, Satan. They are greedy and selfish. They will do anything to promote themselves up through the demonic ranks. Anything. They will stab each other in the back. They will trick each other. They offer false treaties. And they do not trust each other….cause they never play nice.
8. Q. What happens when a person chooses to walk in the wisdom from below? (vs. 16)…
A. There is disorder and every evil thing.
9. Q. What is disorder?
A. A state of confusion, disorderliness, mess, disarray, chaos.
10. Q. What is every evil thing?
A. Any evil repercussions or happenings you can imagine.
Whew! Got all those definitions?
So based on the meanings of the words just studied we can sum up the “wisdom from below”……….. kinda like this:
The wisdom from below..is the wisdom natural to us. We function in this wisdom without much thought or even trying. Its what we think based on our insights, opinions, gender, prejudices, upbringing, culture and the such. Wisdom from below always promotes self…and looks out for #1…ME!…the world aids us in our wisdom from below thinking because it is all it knows…and every man continues daily to do what is right in his own sight. Scarily, the wisdom from below is also the wisdom that the demons posses. And as a CHRIST follower…there is nothing i want to share with demons. Nothing. I do not want to function in the same wisdom as the demonic powers.
Wisdom from below brings strife and discord. It brings confusion and ultimately division. This wisdom does not promote peace or reconciliation…it promotes my selfish ambitions and lusts. This wisdom will bring abut disharmony and every evil thing. Every evil thing are 3 big, scary words that i care not to ponder.
I cringe to think how often i function in the wisdom from below.
It is easy to do when i am not being careful.
It is simple to do when i am faced with quick decisions.
It is not hard to do when the dirt hits the road.
Wisdom from below vs WISDOM from above.
Next time, let’s look at the better choice.